In celebration of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s 50th anniversary, the Foundation is hosting an exhibition titled 50 Designers, 50 Ideas, 50 Wards which features unique architectural and urban design proposals born for each of Chicago’s 50 wards. The exhibition is currently on display at the CAF Atrium Gallery. The wards should not to be mistaken for Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods; each ward is “a legislative district represented by a directly elected alderman and the aldermen comprise the city council,” as The Architect's Newspaper wrote back in May. (Read our interview with Sarah Dunn and Martin Felsen of Chicago-based UrbanLab, who put together the exhibition.) In preparation for the exhibition, 50 different Chicago-based designers, artists, and architects analyzed all aspects of the city, including buildings, roadways, waterways, other infrastructure systems, and even vacant lots. From this, they each produced one unique proposal for each ward. The proposals are split into four categories: Gather, Reclaim, Dwell, and Activate. These categories address the themes of public space activation, economic activity stimulation, pop-up/temporary interventions, and quality of housing improvement, respectively. For example, Fiction Fort, in the Gather category and by Design With Company, is a small pavilion used to house a free public book exchange in the 19th Ward. The proposal notes that, “[t]he exterior ‘walls’ are fashioned from elements that resemble open books and small gabled houses,” facilitating a physical experience when exchanging books. The design echoes the Gothic style of Givins' Irish Castle (Beverly Unitarian Church), a prominent building within the ward. One Reclaim proposal is Food Infrastructure by JGMA. This proposal for the 22nd Ward addresses the problem of food waste in Chicago. The design calls for transformation of the Crawford Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant in the ward, into a biodigester that would harvest the methane gas of wasted food. Jurassic Studio’s proposal for the 30th Ward, Backyard Arcade, is a commercial and communal space in the Dwell category. The design transforms the backsides of residences into a “commercial arcade.” “The arcade is a covered passageway or street often lined with ground-floor shops and second-story offices or workrooms,” the proposal describes. In the Activate category is 606+, a design by RANGE Design & Architecture for the 26th Ward. While vague in its proposal, the design looks to adaptively reuse industrial buildings and spaces along The 606, a linear park that was created from an abandoned railroad. The proposal consists of “3 Acts”: 606+ ArtsFest, a public festival space; Bloomingdale Gallery, an art gallery; and Kimball Theater, a community performance area. A final proposal, uncategorized, is work of John Ronan Architects, a firm in the running for the Barack Obama Presidential Center library project (the winner is likely to be announced in June or July of this year). Their proposal for the 45th Ward aims to revamp the existing Jefferson Park into the Jefferson Park Exchange, adding “a new civic cultural center consisting of a community art center, library and market to leverage the area’s cultural diversity and create a lively place of exchange.” The exhibition was curated by Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn, co-founders of the Chicago-based office UrbanLab, and Reed Kroloff, CAF’s Senior Advisor for Programs and Industry Collaboration, in addition to CAF. Read more about the exhibit here.
Posts tagged with "design with company":
The Chicago based Design With Company have been commissioned by Airbnb to design an installation for Design Miami/. Conceived as a large space of familiar building fragments, the so-called belong. here. now. will be an interactive space to be programmed throughout the week-long festival, with performances, events, and exhibitions. Occupying a lot which has never been activated by Design Miami/, across from the main venue, the design incorporates a series of columns, walls, seating areas, and thresholds that invite the public to interact with the project in undefined ways. Design With Company, a team comprising of Allison Newmeyer and Stewart Hicks, is no stranger to instigating impromptu public performance with their work. In their recent project Porch Parade in Vancouver B.C. they built a series of technicolor “front porches” as a stage set of public interaction. belong. here. now. engages with similar motifs evoking scenes of a Roman forum, held in perfect ruin just far enough to be re-imagined for new use. The soft pastel colors bring the project into Miami with a nod and a wink. Design Miami/ will be held in Miami Beach from December 2–6, 2015.
The international architecture cognoscenti have descended on the Chicago Cultural Center with a motherlode of new content from Thailand to Ecuador, ranging from robotically-assembled structures to investigations into social and infrastructural inequality. The consequences of this assemblage will unfold over the next few months, but one room in the Cultural Center is particularly clear in its ambition and vision for the future. BOLD: Alternative Scenarios for Chicago explores some of the less iconic, more layered pieces of Chicago's urban fabric. Organizer Iker Gil of MAS Studio prompted 18 local designers to make proposals for urban projects around the city. "I wanted to look forward and imagine new possibilities, but remain still attached to reality," said Gil. "We wanted to use the rules but tweak them a little bit to keep them grounded. Emerging designers such asWEATHERS, Hinterlands Urbanism and Landscape and PORT Urbanism were included alongside established designers such as JAHN and Stanley Tigerman. SOM was paired with smaller firm CAMESgibson. The exhibition prompted designers to tackle key issues at stake in Chicago such as civic, ecological, and infrastructural problems, as well as typological problems like empty lots and high-rises. The projects in the show not only propose new ideas for addressing these issues, but also new ways of conceptualizing an aesthetic project, mostly around bright colors, strong figures, and narrative-based designs. Design with Company chose to reimagine the 1987 Library Competition with a series of 20 "late entries," many of which were based on comments from the public in response to the original competition. They made a stack of referential forms from Chicago and elsewhere, each making its own story, but also combining for one over-arching narrative. SOM and CAMESgibson reimagined the high-rise, using Gibson's visions for new ways of living, combined with SOM's high-rise know-how. The result is a prototype tower that would be deployed at L stops around the city, "upping the ante for transit-oriented development," according to Gibson. URBANLAB proposed to make part of Lake Michigan into a series of filtering civic green spaces that would clean the water, while PORT Urbanism took Lakeshore Drive and put it in the lake to provide a more developable area west of the highway, caving to a law that bans building east of Lakeshore Drive. The resulting space lets a series of towers spring up, which reframes Grant park in a completely new urban condition. David Brown collected nine vacant lots from Chicago's 15,000, assigning them to local designers who reimagined the rules of the empty lot, making a series of flat surfaces into a new collective public space. BOLD's local Chicago agenda stands in stark contrast to the international explosion in the other rooms of the main exhibition. The explorations here posit a palpable group of ideas about how to design cities, with the focus on Chicago. What can investigations in a lively urban place like Chicago teach the rest of the world? BOLD embodies much of the Chicago-specific things about the Biennial, with a strong sense of place and a clear mission that translates globally. The best part of it is that it makes manifest the nascent design scene that has been bubbling up in Chicago for the last seven years. Through strong support from institutions and universities there, this group of young designers has imagined new ways of engaging the city while also forming a cohesive aesthetic and engaging attitude toward architecture in general. So far, it is the locals that are stealing the show.